PARENTS

Premature Babies May "Feel More Pain"

12/05/2010 10:57 | Updated 22 May 2015

A new study has revealed that premature babies may be more sensitive to pain then babies who are born at full-term. Experts believe this is due to the intensive-care treatments and procedures early babies go through, like injections and blood tests, which leads to them being more sensitive.

This study is likely to worry some parents of premature babies, however the results are based on only a small number of babies. Researchers studied the brain activity of seven premature babies and eight full-term babies, and discovered that premature babies had a greater response to lancing only.

It's particularly difficult to measure pain levels though, particularly in those who cannot articulate how it feels, and basing the results on brain activity may lead to false results. Who's to say an elevated brain response is necessarily one of pain?

The study has also urged doctors to administer as much pain relief as possible to premature babies, to avoid later over-sensitivity.

The NHS's website has confirmed the study but assured parents that claims of "a lifetime of pain" are grossly exaggerated.

What do you think about this study?

Source: NHS

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